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Mitchell, William (1755–1827)

William Mitchell was a boatswain on the Sirius which landed at Sydney in 1788 as part of the First Fleet. In 1790 he was part of the crew on the Sirius that took convicts to Norfolk Island. When the ship sunk he remained on the island. At some point he had begun a relationship with Elizabeth Fitzgerald (a convict who was transported to Norfolk Island on the Sirius). They had twin daughters in February 1791. In a mass wedding ceremony on the island in November 1791 Mitchell married Susanna Hunt (nee Parkhouse). He retired from the navy and was appointed Island constable (night watchman) and returned to his old profession of farming.

In April 1791 Mitchell was granted 60 acres of land on Norfolk Island - a block in a very favourable position with permanent water and one kilometer from Cascade Harbour. Within two years he had cleared 17 acres, built a two-storied shingle and timber home with a floored kitchen, a mill house and two outhouses. He was appointed head of the Orphan School in 1794. That same year he was granted a further 18 acres on the west side of Cockle Bay and by 1801 had leased another 60 acres in Phillipsburg.

In 1807 the family moved to Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania). Mitchell was granted 103 acres at New Town which his son-in-law, Robert Blinkworth worked.

Citation details

'Mitchell, William (1755–1827)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/mitchell-william-27775/text35491, accessed 5 August 2020.

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